Do I own this photo or do my two dogs?

Paul Hunt

March 28, 2018

Paul Hunt is a marketing consultant

Data has dominated the news over the last week and is the big topic that affects everyone whether you are a small business, multi-national or an individual consumer.

Facebook isn’t the first company to use its data for commercial purposes and let’s be honest, most of us are happy with having supermarket loyalty cards for example. In return for small discounts on our groceries, they construct a profile of us that they sell to companies or use for voucher offers.

However, the big difference between Facebook’s use of its data and a supermarket, is that for the supermarket it’s clear to the consumer what data is being used, what for and who was using it.

GDPR is effective very soon and this will ensure that consent will be given by the consumer before data is collected and also the information collected will be accessible by the consumer. But will consumers bother to keep an eye on their data – I don’t think they will, what’s the incentive?

I saw an idea this week, a way to help consumers track their data, which would be a tool that not only tracks where their data is being used, but also the value that their online presence generates. I’m sure this is not beyond the wit of man to create, so let’s see.

Returning to the photo of my two dogs, as there are still many questions to be answered about data ownership. By taking this photo, does that data belong to me or to my two furry friends, for example?

Rightly, use of data has now come under scrutiny and over the coming months and years, we as a society will have much more transparency over how our information is used – it can’t come soon enough.

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